Dr. T Memmott Digital Culture Lecture Tour
Winona State University
Citation: Memmott, Talan. “Dr. T Memmott Digital Culture Lecture Tour.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 21, 2019. doi:10.20415/hyp/021.m04
Abstract: The Dr. Talan Memmott Meme Tour is an art project that satirizes meme culture and meme-ademia by staging a fictional lecture series promoted largely through memes.
Keywords: social media, memes, academia, egotism, satire, image macros.
The Dr. T Memmott Digital Culture Lecture Tour is a Twitter-based project that follows the fictitious Dr. T Memmott from gas station to fast food joint, supermarket to donut shop, trailer parks to sleazy motel as he tries to spread the word about the post-digital age, giving lectures on topics such as Fauxstalgia as Progress, Spam and Digital Bacon, and Welcome to the Animated GIF Economy.
As the tour begins to pick up steam, the venues get larger and so do the themes. Dr. T Memmott starts to drift away from old-school digital culture lectures, producing extravaganzas like the MEME-O-MANIA Grump Off, a pay-per-view event pitting Dr. T Memmott against Grumpy Cat, and The Magical World of Memes on Ice with special guests Rebecca Black, Condescending Wonka, Bad Luck Brian, and the Ermahgerd girl. In addition, Dr. T Memmott starts to show his entrepreneurial side by promoting himself as a Cosmetic Selfie Surgeon promising to boost your selfie esteem, as a self help guru offering workshops for those suffering from First World Problems, and as a digital media medium offering banal meme readings and uncanny social media consulting.
In the end, none of this works. Dr. T Memmott ends up spending his “last bit of cultural capital” on a billboard that practically begs for a more traditional academic position.
Presented through obviously photoshopped images of signage, marquees, and billboards, the project blurs the lines between real and fictitious identity to present a tragi-comic narrative of desperation.